Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Grad Student & Faculty Community Building: When Faculty say 'x', They Really Mean 'y'

All Graduate Students welcome!

"When Faculty say 'x', They Really Mean 'y'"

A seminar that connects grad students and faculty.

Friday, October 9, 2009, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Students from all of our AGEP partner campuses are invited.

UMBC's Campus Public Policy Building Room 105. (1st Floor lecture hall)

There is no cost for this event.
This announcement is mirrored on:
and Twitter:

To post questions, click on "comments" below this post, and type your question.
Please note that you are able to post anonymously.

Faculty will answer your questions at the seminar.


Anonymous said...

I have been talking with my advisor about potential committee members. When I mentioned including one professor, my advisor didn't seem very enthusiastic. He's hard to read and I don't always know how to interpret his actions. The professor in question (potential committee member) is one of my favorite professors; She has been a great mentor and really understands my work. Should I push to have her on my committee?

Anonymous said...

I've heard some professors say that they really do mean what they say. But I'm not sure if I should trust that. How do you learn about the unwritten rules of the department that professors think are clear, but really aren't?

Anonymous said...

Dear Profs. Some times you give detailed explanations of what you want us to turn in (homework, essays, etc.), sometimes you say "You are in Grad School, you figured it out!" Why this duality?

Anonymous said...

I am a new graduate student and I recognize that each student in my lab comes with different backgrounds and experience. How do you gauge what constitutes a PhD for one person against a PhD for another. In other words do you hold someone straight from undergrad at the same standard as you would hold someone who has 5 years experience and a Masters?

STEM student said...

Last semester, I was taking some extra classes and couldn't come to my advisor's lab meetings. This semester, it seems like she isn't including me in invitations to "extra" events like lunch with a guest speaker, or telling me about fellowship opportunities. I get the general emails, but I'm starting to feel like I'm being shut out of opportunities.

What should I do to re-connect? And what if I try things and it turns out that she's actually "trying" to make me go to another lab?

-STEM student

International Student said...

In my country, it is very disrespectful to tell a professor that you can't do something, even if it is related to personal favors. How do I let my professor know that I don't think that I should be doing personal favors like walking his dog, or helping his children with their homework.

I also don't know what to do when my professor says that I should work on American holidays like Thanksgiving. I would like to experience the holiday too with my friends.

How do I say no to these things. I don't want my professor to hold it against me.

-- I am an international student.

Anonymous said...

How do you approach your advisor about selecting committee members for your Thesis Defense?

Anonymous said...

What should a grad student do when a professor repeatedly does not meet deadlines? e.g. submitting paperwork to department, commenting on papers

Anonymous said...

What is the best way to respond when a professor asks a question about your personal life that you may not feel comfortable answering?

Anonymous said...

How do professors manage their time between research, teaching, service and personal lives? What is their recommendation for their students also managing their time to live balanced lives?

Anonymous said...

If your mentor does not have tenure...
How do you have a candid discussion about their tenure schedule and where your progress as his or her student fits in to that timeline?

1st year student said...

I have funding to go to conferences from my fellowship, but my advisor won't let me go. Why would he hold me back?

Anonymous said...

When faculty say they don't expect you to decrease your experiments to study for candidacy exams, how do you effectively express your disagreement?

Anonymous said...

What should you do if you would like your advisor to read a chapter of your thesis/dissertation or a potential manuscript because you are looking for some feedback and he/she basically ignores your request?

Anonymous said...

According to the expectations of graduate school, is it appropriate to ask the same question to a professor a second time, if you are not completely sure what the professor meant the first time?

Anonymous said...

Does it seem frustrating to professors when students persist in asking questions that may seem minor?

Anonymous said...

What are the top three things that can annoy you about students or "pet peeves" (at the graduate & PhD level), whether in the classroom, or outside the classroom?

Anonymous said...

What would be the best way to ask for some more clarity in feedback? What would be the best approach to avoid miscommunication between you and your advisor?

Anonymous said...

How can a student find an adviser and a faculty mentor within their department to make the graduate school process easier.

Anonymous said...

How do you deal with professors that put you down or make you feel stupid when you ask them questions for which answers are based on your command of previous material?

Anonymous said...

My advisor currently has me on a five-year plan, but I would like to be on a four-year plan. How do I express this to my advisor respectfully and come up with a realistic timeline.

Anonymous said...

I am having trouble ( as a first year grad student) effectively balancing a teaching assistantship, Classes, and Lab/Research. In your opinion, Is there one that takes precedence over the others? If not, how should I go about balancing all three?

Anonymous said...

What are different ways professors are dealing with the students that are lagging behind in class due to health reasons?

Anonymous said...

As a first year student just joining a lab, how do I express my eagerness to start with my project when my advisor seems to busy for me?

Anonymous said...

What are a few great ways of telling your advisor that you disagree with them?

PROMISEstaff said...

Directions & Parking for Friday's program:


After 3:30 on Fridays, parking is free in any open space or open lot.
Metered spaces are not free. The Commons is a few feet away from the
Public Policy Building; visitors may park in any open space.

If you come to campus at any other time, you may park at the metered spaces. Please bring quarters. Machines are available within the covered parking lots and on top of the parking garages to provide change from dollar bills.
Questions? Contact Parking services:


General directions to UMBC:

From 95 (North or South)
The UMBC Exit is THE SAME EXIT off of 95 for the BWI Marshall Airport.
Follow the signs for UMBC, Rt. 166, Catonsville.

Once you are on UMBC's campus (landmarks: Silo on the left, BW Research Park on the right plus construction), stay in the right lane.

* Make a RIGHT onto Hilltop Circle.

* Pass Administration Drive (immediately past the parking garage)

* Make the 2nd LEFT onto Commons Drive.

The Commons Building will be in front of you. It is a multi-leveled glass walled building. Park in any open space or open lot after 3:30. If you park at a meter, you must have coins available to pay the metered fees.

The Commons is surrounded by the Parking Garage, the Physics Building, the Public Policy Building, and the Theatre. You will know that you are in the right place because Commons Drive ends in a loop with these buildings at the edges.

* PUP 105 is the large lecture hall (Lecture Hall 9) on the first floor of the Public Policy Building.

Other directions:

PROMISEstaff said...

We thank all of you for asking your questions. These questions will be consolidated and presented to the faculty panelists during the October 9 seminar. We are not able to take any more questions using this forum for the seminar. The last question that will be included will be from "Anonymous Oct. 7 11:59 PM."

Thank you for your participation!

We'll see you at the seminar.

Anonymous said...

I am an international student. There is one professor in my department. She told me that my english was good earlier. Then she told me that my english is bad and hard to understand after some time, which really frustrates me. My impression is that she says good things when she is happy, and bad things when she is unhappy or other reasons. What should I do to deal with this kind of emotional professor?

Anonymous said...

If doing a PhD dissertation and you're choosing your professors, would it be a good idea to invite a professor who you worked with in your MS even if it's in a different yet related type of engineering?

Angelo said...

Promise Program has been one of the best experiences I have had as a graduate students. I have attended their seminars, programs, dinners, and I was able to present in two national conferences thanks to the support of Promise. This program has been the greatest source of support and help I have received in my graduate program.

Angelo said...

This is a great program and one of the most useful seminars I've ever attended. I recommend it to each and every student. I wish this were part of the actual grad school orientation program. I have attended it twice already.

willson said...

love to see this discussion! It’s great to see you all working through the issues and also, it’s great to see recommendations for testing. In the end, it’s what your actual users do and prefer that should be your biggest driver in making these decisions.
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PROMISE Community Building - A Place for Graduate Students.

PROMISE: Maryland's Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) seeks to increase the numbers and diversity of Ph.D.s in the STEM fields by building community and supporting graduate students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Here, we salute the spirit of PROMISE!
Click one of the tabs at the top: "Home" to see the main blog site with all posts, "Retreats" to see more information about the Community Building Retreats for grad students, and "PROMISE Videos" to see some videos from the PROMISEagep YouTube Channel. Other topics and pages will be added as the blog site grows.